Did Imported Components lead to Wenzhou Train Crash?

Chinese media speculated early on – before all unauthorized coverage  was banned by the propaganda department – that the  7.23 Wenzhou bullet train collision was possibly caused by the signal system. A Wall Street Journal (WSJ) article on Monday seems to point into the same direction, and says that China used foreign technology in its bullet-train signal systems which local engineers couldn’t fully understand, according to a review of corporate documents and interviews with more than a dozen rail executives inside and outside China.

However, the authors add that the precise cause of the crash remained uncertain, and that the signaling assembly hadn’t necessarily played a role.

Ask that Black Box behind me

"Ask that Black Box behind me" (click photo)

The WSJ authors mention both the Chinese supplier, and the inclusion of Hitachi technology which had been supplied as a “black box” by the Japanese company, for fear that it could be reverse-engineered in China otherwise. The Chinese manufacturer and the railway ministry reportedly didn’t respond to requests for comment.

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